Fiberglass Campers from the past - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-05-2006, 08:18 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Karalyn's Avatar
 
Name: Karalyn
Trailer: Eggless for now but looking. currently own Amerilite 21 ft
Minnesota
Posts: 844
Ok, I have a question. I love my Scamp, but am wondering why so many fiberglass camper companies are a thing of the past? I just saw the Pacer on the other thread with those huge side windows. The Burro's are no longer being made either as are some of the other oldies. My question is WHY? Don't most people like the fiberglass campers as well as we do. I would love to see more of a selection out there. I love those bigger windows!
__________________

__________________
Karalyn
http://karalynsmaltese.com/</B>
Money will buy a fine dog, but only kindness will make him wag his tail.


Karalyn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2006, 11:34 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Brian B-P's Avatar
 
Name: Brian
Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
Alberta
Posts: 5,000
Many members with much more experience than I will no doubt have insightful answers, but I think it's quite simple:
No, most people don't like the fiberglass campers as well as we do. They may think they're "cute", but they want more room, more equipment, and just plain more, especially when it can be had for not much more money. Despite the continuous and almost universal whining about fuel costs, many people also drive a much larger vehicle than they need (or will switch to one in order to tow a trailer), so they have the capacity for that bigger trailer.
__________________

__________________
1979 Boler B1700RGH, pulled by 2004 Toyota Sienna LE 2WD
Information is good. Lack of information is not so good, but misinformation is much worse. Check facts, and apply common sense liberally.
STATUS: No longer active in forum.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2006, 01:22 AM   #3
Moderator
 
Gina D.'s Avatar
 
Name: Gina D.
Trailer: '77 Leocraft 17 & Former Burro owner and fan!
West Coast USA
Posts: 9,016
Registry
We have "Camping" trailers. Others have RVs. Does that make sense?

We qualify for the RV label, our trailers have all the same things the big boys have (For the most part) but outside of a few rogue single folks traveling about (Andy and Pete come to mind) they are not the sort of thing most folks want for long long times out and about.

Ours go to campgrounds more than RV parks, I would venture to guess, and we are more likely to be seen outside by the fire or getting dirty than the big boys. The toy haulers, obviously, appeal to the dirt eaters, but you notice most of the ammenities are situated just like at home.. with all the toys.

For the "campers", some just don't think having hard sides is really camping, so the pop up is very popular. Somehow the canvas makes them think they are more in nature.. even tho an open window (Or 4) gives me the same feeling.

Having "RVed" in mine recently, I can tell you I felt grossly inadequate for the traveling hotel room theory. Tho I never unhooked on my overnites, I still had to hassle with minor set up and found myself somewhat jealous of the bigger folks that can carry thier own water, have thier dishes and anteneas permanently attached, and they didn't have to offload their floors into the car to be able to get in thier trailers.

Being trapped inside because of weather for long periods was not a real joy either. I was fine, but I worried about my two dogs. The Burro isn't much bigger than an average dog kennel at the pet hotel. They got LOTS pf walks and got to go bye bye, but they paid for it inbetween the "fun".
__________________
Gina D. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2006, 05:26 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
BOBSMITH's Avatar
 
Trailer: 2002 Casita Freedom Deluxe / 2007 Nissan Frontier King Cab
Posts: 729
Face it. Fiberglass trailers are a niche market. Competition is fierce. It's as simple as that.
__________________
BOBSMITH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2006, 06:21 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Roger H's Avatar
 
Name: Roger
Trailer: Y2K6 Born Free 32RQ on the Kodiak chassis, 1995 Coachmen 19' B-van and 1996 Precision 21' Sailboat
Iowa
Posts: 5,000
Actually from most accounts I've heard, the FGRV market is thriving. There are only four major manufacturers, and they're really not in competition with one another as they're far-flung thoughout the U.S. and Canada. All of them have a huge backlog of orders, and they're all "mom & pop" kinds of operations, turning out trailers to order without dealer networks (Bigfoot excepted). None of them have a lack of demand. The used market is as strong as it's ever been. We're actually seeing appreciation in some of the used trailers now. With Scamp out of business for a while, the demand is going to be even stronger. Further, with rising oil prices and smaller cars and trucks being the order of the day again, the market will continue to grow. It'll be interesting to see what happens in the general RV market this spring with fuel prices remaining over $2 in the U.S.

It's my understanding that most of the manufacturers have gone out of business because they didn't have a successful business model. The products were saleable, and typically the sales portion went well, but they were typically underfunded, had poor marketing, they overextended financing, had supplier problems, or had some other issue with their business plan (or lack of business plan) that caused them not to be viable in the long term.

There are many, many facets to the business side of building a fiberglass RV, and they all have to be developed and grown simultaneously. If you have an otherwise successful product but fail to properly develop the marketing model, or the financing runs out, or whatever... the business fails. That's what happened to most of them.

Roger
__________________
Roger H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2006, 09:29 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Doug Mager's Avatar
 
Trailer: 1975 13 ft Trillium
Posts: 2,536
Registry
For example Reace over here @ Escape trailers is expanding so fast he has had to take time away from participating at last weekends local RV show here to train NEW staff and help enlarge is current facility. (Must ne NICE, eh?)
__________________
Doug Mager is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2006, 09:54 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Donna D.'s Avatar
 
Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
Posts: 24,433
I think it also has to do with a misconception of getting the "biggest bang for the buck." Most people have never seen an egg, or if they did it was from affar and didn't really know anything about what they were seeing. Given a choice when spending $16,000, most individuals would think "bigger." The idea of spending the same amount of money and getting "smaller" just doesn't make sense to a lot of people. But, then again, those people don't know anything about fiberglass trailers, how well they're built, nor the problems they are going to run into with their stickies.

Business' can rapidly go out of business for many reasons, but the big three reasons are 1) Lack of financial backing, 2) Poor management, 3) Poor marketing. We know number 3 wouldn't necessarily apply for egg manufacturers as long as the business worked on balancing the supply and demand and making certain there was always more Demand than Supply.
__________________
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
Donna D. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2006, 10:17 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
BOBSMITH's Avatar
 
Trailer: 2002 Casita Freedom Deluxe / 2007 Nissan Frontier King Cab
Posts: 729
The guy from whom I bought my Casita had had two pop-ups and two fifth wheels. The pop-ups wore out and both the fifth wheels developed serious roof leaks within the first six months that he owned them. He only sold me the Casita because he is seriously ill (cancer) and couldn't take it out anymore.

I am certain that this trailer is going to be the last trailer I'll ever need. They don't wear out if you take care of them, unlike stickies that shake apart no matter how well you care for them.

My father-in-law had a really nice trailer and treated it with kid gloves. But it developed roof leaks even as well cared for as it was.

I did my research and I just did not want anything but a fiberglass trailer.

I'm glad the fiberglass market is doing well, and I hope it continues to do well.

You're right: if the fuel situation gets worse, then more people are going to want a trailer they can pull with a V6, or which won't cost them an arm and a leg to pull. I talked to a fellow on one of my routes who told me he can't take his trailer out very much, now, because the price of gas got so high.
__________________
BOBSMITH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2006, 06:32 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Roger H's Avatar
 
Name: Roger
Trailer: Y2K6 Born Free 32RQ on the Kodiak chassis, 1995 Coachmen 19' B-van and 1996 Precision 21' Sailboat
Iowa
Posts: 5,000
Quote:
I talked to a fellow on one of my routes who told me he can't take his trailer out very much, now, because the price of gas got so high.
This is really a fallacy that people have created for themselves. The only campers that get really hurt badly by fuel prices are folks who are travelling lots of miles annually. Of course folks with gas hog tow vehicles and heavy trailers are hurt worse, but the total additional expense of towing an RV over driving an unladen tow vehicle still isn't all that bad.

The majority of campers usually camp within a hundred miles of home except for those few long vacation trips that get taken annually. I'd guess that most folks pull/drive their RVs less than 2,000 miles/year. If you only get 15mpg unladen with your tow vehicle, those 2,000 miles will cost you $286 in gas at $2.15. If you get 10 mpg towing, those 2,000 miles towing your trailer will cost you an additional $144. (BTW, these are the numbers I get pulling my 34' Airstream with a V10 Excursion). If you get more mileage and your spread is less, the towing mpg penalty will be significantly less, typically in the $100 range.

For the great majority of the RV owning public, the additional $144 to pull their RV 2,000 miles recreationally for an entire camping season is not going to force them into bankruptcy. That same $144 might get you a one-night hotel stay in New York City or Chicago in a decent hotel (on a weekend special)! Folks who buy a new stickie and a new tow vehicle lose $10,000 a year (or more) in depreciation for the first three years they own the combo. Why would they worry about $144 in gas?

Yes, fuel is expensive for daily driving, but the expense of pulling an RV still isn't as signficant as folks want to make it out to be, if you do the math. The trick is to be fuel efficient in every day use, and then to enjoy your camper whenever you can!

Roger
__________________
Roger H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2006, 07:26 AM   #10
Member
 
Trailer: Casita Spirit Deluxe 17 ft
Posts: 51
Donna D, I think you hit the proverbial "nail on the head". There are a number of reasons that these companies go out of business but - with so many prospective purchasers thinking that "if it is bigger and cheaper then its gotta be a deal and lets go for it" - the small fiberglas trailer is always going to be a niche market I know they are not very suited to more than two adults but when I observe what size rv it takes for many two people entities to go rving or camping I never ceased to be amazed. Although we started rving with larger trailers we slowly over 25 years purchased smaller and smaller units and the happier we became. Our Casita is a means to an end not the purpose itself. We want to see all we can and the small rv is an economical and hugely convienent way to accomplish our goals. To each his own but the better half and I found our rv answer. Martin
__________________
Martin D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2006, 07:44 AM   #11
Member
 
Trailer: Casita Spirit Deluxe 17 ft
Posts: 51
Roger, I used to own an Airstream 25 and you are correct about the fuel costs not keeping most people from using their units at least for the short haul. I guess somewhere in the past my partner in life and I evaluated the total cost to own what ever rv we were into at that time. If you really do the numbers it rarely is less expenseive than the hotel/motel route. To make a short story long we sold the rv and after a year decided the stinkin hotel rooms were not for us. My point - the small fiberglas rv is pretty competive from a cost aspect vs other modes of travel. While the Airstreams and other high end rv's are certainly nice you will never convince me they are economical considering the level of maintenance, depreciation even if moderate (based on the high cost when puchased) the extra fuel costs, the cost of a larger more poweful tug, taxes, licensing and insurance etc. - it all adds up - I understand where your coming from but the small fiberglas rv is a great alternative and the better half and I just don't require 34 ft to go rving - but being satisfied is what it is all about.. Martin
__________________
Martin D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2006, 07:46 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
Roger H's Avatar
 
Name: Roger
Trailer: Y2K6 Born Free 32RQ on the Kodiak chassis, 1995 Coachmen 19' B-van and 1996 Precision 21' Sailboat
Iowa
Posts: 5,000
Martin, I think it's a matter of a difference in philosophy. I'd suggest that for most of us who own fiberglass RVs it's the journey that is important, not the destination.

And, you're right. You'll never save money travelling with an RV. You just spend it more efficiently! And, even if a 34' strikes your fancy, they can be bought and used with efficient spending. Ours is a '94 and the Excursion is a 2000. We bought them both used, and have had them now for three years. We paid less for the combo than for a new Excursion, and less then half for the combo than for a new trailer alone!

They have currently depreciated very little; frankly the trailer may have appreciated enough to cover the depreciation on the Excursion. When we go to sell, all we'll have been out is the interest on the money we borrowed and the maintenance on the combo. Not bad, if I do say so m'self!

Roger
__________________
Roger H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2006, 07:49 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Donna D.'s Avatar
 
Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
Posts: 24,433
I think the world has fallen into the Instant Gratification mode too. People don't generally save money for ANYTHING, nor are they will to wait months to get a trailer. We all know how difficult it is to find a good, used egg anywhere close to home, no matter where you live. I can see people in April thinking "hey,we got some money back on our income tax, let's buy an RV and go camping this summer." That's not going to work if someone needs to order a new fiberglass trailer from an egg manufacturer. Hence, the instant gratification....stop in at the local travel trailer dealer and see the hundreds of trailers just sitting there waiting for a buyer.

Being a member of this forum has taught me that egg owners are generally more patient and are quite often DIY people. Stickie folk want to take their trailers in for service, that's why the service bays at Camping World are always busy...and not just with motorhomes either.
__________________
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
Donna D. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2006, 07:50 AM   #14
Member
 
Trailer: Casita Spirit Deluxe 17 ft
Posts: 51
Roger. exactly - but I still like those Airstreams - well out to buy the lottery ticket. Martin
__________________

__________________
Martin D is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Fiberglass Campers pjanits General Chat 9 08-29-2012 01:39 PM
Molded Fiberglass Toy Campers! Bruce Thomas General Chat 43 02-10-2011 10:01 AM
Family camping in fiberglass campers? doris shamieh General Chat 17 05-23-2008 02:08 PM
Past Reincarnations Bobbie Mayer General Chat 33 11-02-2007 06:17 PM
Fiberglass truck campers phil wilcox Classified Archives 13 02-01-2007 10:30 PM

» Trailer Showcase

Stage Coach

Perk

RiLex

Lex M
» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:13 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.